A young Donegal man who rescued two youths from drowning at Rathmullan Pier is to be honoured for his bravery.
Shaun Haughey, from Drumkeen, is to be presented with an Irish Water Safety Award after being nominated by Donegal County Council.
Shaun will be presented with his award on Tuesday November 18th at St. George’s Hall in Dublin Castle by the Environment Minister Alan Kelly.
Shaun, 21, dived into the freezing waters of Lough Swilly at Rathmullan Pier on the night of August 24th this year and rescued two youths who had got into serious difficulties with one of them unable to stay afloat in the water.
Without any care for his own personal safety Shaun dived in to their rescue and onlookers were stunned by his remarkable bravery, strength and courage as he battled to bring the youths on a boat that arrived on the scene.
David Friel of Donegal County Council’s Water Safety Department examined the facts of the incident carrying out a number of interviews before nominating Shaun for the award.
Mr. Friel told the Tirconail Tribune that Shaun Haughey’s bravery was not being fully recognised the Seiko ‘Just in Time Award’ was the highest award that could be bestowed on him and it was fully merited.
He also said that action of people like Shaun Haughey was a reminder of how dangerous the sea is and that swimmers might stop and reflect before they went into the waters.
In the meantime, Shaun who is the son of musician Johnny Haughey and his wife Kathleen (nee Carberry) Drumkeen has also been promoted at his workplace at the Medisize Company on the Kilmacrennan Road in Letterkenny.
He has been selected for training as a toolmaker with the company and will be trained at the IT in Sligo.
The irony of the rescue is that Shaun Haughey never wanted anyone else to find out what he’d done.
However the reluctant hero agreed to talk after being persuaded by his parents that he would be given the recognition he deserved for his bravery.
Shaun then related in graphic detail how the youths had jumped off the pier into Lough Swilly. He had been fishing off the pier when the teenagers began to disappear under the water.
During the next eight terrifying minutes, the two youths fought for their lives.
“Their heads kept going under the water. They were swallowing a lot of water. I’m a strong swimmer and went in to get them out. The currents at the pier are very strong, they were sweeping the two boys away.”
But he is insisted he’s not a hero.
“I only did what I had to do and I wouldn’t even want anyone to know what I did but people need to know that pier is dangerous.”
“I’m a very strong swimmer and even I wouldn’t go in to where those boys were.”
His proud father Johnny said: “He saved those two boys, there is no doubt about that. Rathmullan pier is notorious and people have unfortunately drowned there before.